Women Riders

A Remembrance

Written by  November 1, 2013

I wasn’t going to do a column this month. Then I asked myself, does it have to be about only motorcycles all the time? This is a column for women riders and while we all share the bond of helmet hair, we share other things as well.

I am a baby boomer, born almost smack dab in the middle of those years, 1946-1964. There have been a few television reports as well are news articles about the uniqueness of our aging group and how we have gone from baby boomers to “middlers”. Stuck between aging parents and the kids we have that haven’t quite made their own mark on the world yet, we are saddled with more responsibilities and worries. We, as a whole, became more prosperous than our parents but perhaps less so than those that came after us. We take care of aging parents while still taking care of our own homes and families.

If I were to break down the 155 friends I have on Facebook into groups, riders would far exceed any other. It is, perhaps, another facet of being baby boomers that we want the freedom from all that responsibility as we age. We have the disposable income to buy the bikes and we have the need to feel unconstrained from the stresses that being “middlers” brings. When we ride, there is no house to clean, no college kids to send money to that day, no parent to take to the doctor.

On October 2, my time as a “middler” came to an end. I am now part of the oldest generation in my family, save a cousin of my father’s, and it is a daunting thought. It is something we all go through, sooner or later, but it is still strange to me. I liken it to slowly stepping up a staircase and now I’m the one on the top.

Everyone who ever met my dad liked him, but my childhood friends were afraid of him. He was large and loud and expectant of respect. He was a fantastic artist but only drew for his own amusement. He also wrote stories but never shared them. It was only after my mother’s death that we found his writings and then more after his passing. I suppose I inherited a portion of those parts of him as a writer and photographer, along with the strangely colored green eyes.

Like Mom, Dad didn’t care much for motorcycles and that distaste became more acute after my cousin’s accident. But he never brought up my own mishap and never said I shouldn’t ride although he had some choice words whenever we saw a rider with no helmet on.

If you are still lucky enough to have your Dad around, give him an extra hug or an “I love you” tonight. Be proud of not only who you are, but his contribution to that; even if it wasn’t a great one, it is a part of who you came to be.